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born in 15, van dyck's remarkable career took him from his native flanders to italy, and then to england as court painter to charles i, before the artist's death there in 1641. reesenll range o van dyck's artistic creation, which allowed us to realize the imposing s of many of his compositions, react to the sensuous color, and perceive the touch of the artist in the rich brushwork. the pangsthemsees came. in this program, we'll try to recreate the experience of the exhibition itself, moving through the various phases of van dyck's career and discovering his magnificent art. van dyck's earliest family portrait sets the stage for our look at the artist's life and work. aintedn 19n anerp, when v dyck was only about 20 yearsld.
in this close-knit group, we sense intimacy and informality. the child looks up at h father, who leans protectively toward his young wife and daughter. this deep sympathy for families would be one of van dyck's great contributions to the art of portraiture. in 1609, when van dyck was only 10 years old, he apprenticed with a painter in his native city of antwerp in the southern netherlands. by t time he was6, his skill and talent allowed him to join the worksh of thleing , peter paul rubs. rubenscomplex compositions, such as these with their sculpturally modeled figures, greatly influenced the young artist. but even in van dyck's earliest works we see the artist's ow distinctive stylemerging. he painted this scene of st. jerome when heas about 16.
instead of the heroic figures rubens, van dyck chose to show the hermit saint as a man past s prime. though van dyck based his composition on a work by ruben the yog artist painted it difrently, applying his paint thickly with rough, broken strokes, exaggerating the naturalism of the biblical scene. in another version of the same subjec painted st a f years later, van dyck portrays st. jerome in yet diffent mner. in a moment of deepreligio, the saint is about to strike his chest in penance ( o) this interesin psyogical tensity, human emotis, van dyck again looked to a work by rubens for inspiration. but once again, he interpreted the story in his own manner.
van dyck chose t represent the moment just before the philistine clips samson's hair and robs him of his strength as delilah andhe oer conspirators watch anxiously. the composition may have seemed too compressed to a later owner: a strip was added along the upper edge to enlarge the pictorial space, effectively leasing some tonalnergy thecene. thiexhibitionwe discored that changesere often made to van dy's works. another ofhe artt's early religious paintings, "moses and the brazen serpent," was also altered, as we can see by comparing the size and format of the painting to a contemporary copy. compositional changes were also made by the paintehimself. the pentimenti cane seen
in van dyck's "martyrdom of s sebasan by looking clo, it is possible to see a vague dication of the rider'st as the artist originally placed it. diovering this change lp to establish authenticity of this oil sketch and to identify it as van dyck's preliminary study. shows the original position of t soldier's foo over tim the surface paint became tnscent, alwihe artist's earlier lution to come vible. in 162 v dk spent four mons in england. there, he painted portits, such as this fanciful allegocal age onis return tont, he inted these portras, which once again revealed thyoung artist's sympathy for children and his unique sensitivity to the psychological character
of his sitters. van dyck painted this portrait of rubens' wife a parng gt r hi, tir garden. in the fall of 1621, van dyck lefantwerp sndix a e po compositis and ri brushwork of the 16th-century master titian appealed to the flemish artist, as did his penetrating portraits. in a sketchbook that he kept as he traveled, van dyck recorded works by the venetian artist. these drawings would later provide ideas and inspiration. the uenctitian had on van dyck's interpretation of the figure is evident in van dyck's painting of george gage, an englishman whwas in ity to acquire wksf
gage's by n froal but inead turns in spa, making the composition bold and lifelike. the artist's own character and his attitude toward his art are revealed in thismarvou, painted shortly after dyck's arral iitaly. as a contemporary wrote, "his manners were more of an aristocrat and he was resplendent in his rich dress and accessories." the young painter looks out at us, self-assured, certain of his position and confident in his ambitions. during his stay in the prosperous port city of genoa, van dyck received nurous commissions from its patrician society for portraits, as well as f mythological and legorical . these infused th a cal quity ve different from coositions hhad made elegce and gra learned from titian marked theortraits van dyck created
araize genoese patrons, inuding his remarkable image the mchesa lena gmaldi. the marchesaeems to stri onto patio. van dyckntduces new sense of movemt to whahaen a tditionof rigidy . van dyck's genoese portraits were intended to be hung up high, over doorsn palaces. because they were ewed from a distance, the artist painted them very inly and very quickly. here, van dyck suggests the intricate fabric of theng b'stume inoaroofedndt, painted directly over the ochre ground. the mothern ofile solemd a. the boy poses confidently,
van dyck introduces a delicate tenderness. at the end of 1627, van dyck returned to antwerp. the raits he painted during this period reflect the solid bourois character of theitters. thevan dyck'sortraitsirect, re stle aspectse time of hisitters' complex personalitie in paired portraits, he explores e ti between huands and wives, and, once again, the relationship betwe parents and children. a wonderful naturalism marks van dyck's paintings during ts period. thfigures veryuch alive. is portrait the butiful maria uisae tais is infused with an air of ease and informality.
her marvelous, captivating gaze conveys the vibrancy and warmth of her being. this effect of immediacy is underscored by van dyck's fluid brushwork, the way he paints her fashionable costume-- the slit sleeve and the delicate ribbons large-scale religious works were in demand by chches in antwerp, where the counter-reformatio had a ronghold ans met inspire ep ivement vadyckhose to focus st. augustins reacon to his mystical vision. the saint els ck, experiencing a moment of religious ecstasy
before a vision of the holy trinity. a joyous sense of enthusiasm is conveyed by the wonderful angels that hover above holding symbols of god's power, uny and eternity. van dyck's rigiousgels works from this pe encouragdevotion with their intimate, tender images. intimacy and tdeess so infusean dyck's mastpiece, "rindo and armida." inspired by a 16th-century epic poem, the artistgain chose to represent a romantic ratrthan . a water nymph has lulled one of the warriors to sleep armidaa soes from t underworld,
sweeps in to kill the helplesser but instead she falls deeply in love. commissi in 29 by work commoratede riage. porter for charles i, van dyck w invited to england t. inngland, van dyck created works that conveyed the king's role as divine monarch and that, with his french queen henrietta maria, omoted an image of peace and harmony. in this double portrait of the king and queen, henrietta maria offers charles the laurel wreath of victory. she lds an olive sprrepres . these symbols alluded to the stability of their reign.
an unusual portrait representing the monarch from three different positions was intended to be sent to the italian sculptor gian lorenzo bernini as a model for a bust of the king. not onlythe sensitive chacterization of the king , t so in trtment ofhe erateostumes. the thrert comsition seems to be infused with religious symbolism. it suggests the holy trinity's three persons in one god and conveys charles' claim to rule by divine right. in london, van dyck established large workshop to produce the enormous mbfs demanded by thow he also worked for other members of the court andristocracy paintings of the earl of arundel, robert rich,
and james stuart reflect the ambitions of van dyck's patrons as well as the courtly ideals of the time. 1634, tt turned tothernetherlands, hoping for more prgious histy commissions and peaps an antment crt painter. there, he produced this magnificent equestrian portrait of the provisional governor,th. a re introsptive chacter perv an image the prce's advisor the abbe scalia. van dyck portrays him as a commanding individual, experienced yet world-weary. at the artist's busy workshop, subjects posed for only a short time. they would leave behind costumes or armor so van dyck could complete the painting at his own convenience. around the head of scalia, we can see a kind of halo
marking the area the artist painted from life. scalia himself commissnedthis o as an alrpce for a urchn antwerp. is van dyck's last surviving religious painti. in a constricted format, he presents the dead body of christ and ptes the full pathos of mary's intense sorrow. ter spending about a year in fl van dyck returned to england in 35 the tist chose an unusual oval format to emphasize the bond betwn en porter...and hielf. su t firmfoundation of eir lostanng fridship.
n dycknlremaining mythological work from his english period, probably painted for the ng a qen, is thiwonderful poetic image representing t myth of cupid and psyche. psyche, a autiful mortal, was sent by venus to the underworld to meet with persephone and bring back a box containing the secrets of her beauty. when the curious psyche, she fellnto a deathlike trance van dyck depicts the moment cupid diovers her and reacdown to wipe the sleep from her eyes. ill e to fall in ve witcupid
and be raisetoimmortit . e of t most poignant of all of vanycs painting isiesh portofwoen broughtogr to sre a tragic ss. om kilgrew res his arm on the base a bken column, mbol of itude and de in her memore unron wedding ring to s isti and pinned cross over h heart. in an image as eloquent as an elegiac sonnet, van dyck includes the wife's brother in the composition, as if offer solace to killegrein his deepest grief. van dyck portrayed the eshcot , but the urt's idealsave way to harsh realities.
by the end of the 1630s, scotland was in revolt and the rule of charles i was threatened. ofan dycs last works ts theosen by charles the earl . ortly after van dyck coleted this work in the spring of 1640, the litical situation in england reached a cr in 11,he roy famywarced to flee the earl of strafford was executed and civil war broke out. van dyck, himself in ill health, died later that same year at the age of only 42. the artist's legacy, his elegant portraits the ialtic glish urt ancourtis-- van dyck's mos wks-- would influence painters for generaon
here we have discovere only a few of the paintings from van dyck's remarkable career: ambitious compitio fmhis early; works produced durg his six-year sojourn in italy, marked by th elegance and grace; magnificent religious paintings nd mythol works; for thenglishi as well as images that served to define the english court for future generations. van dyck's portraits revealed the artist's unique sensitivity to the character of his sitters, his ability to capture the innocence of children, and to suggest bonds between family members. the exhibion its
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